There has probably never been a better time in history to be a woman. Besides just being fabulous, women today are enjoying so many of the benefits that early female entrepreneurs such as Anne Bradstreet, Madam CJ Walker and Arabella Mansfield fought for hundreds of years ago. Women are enjoying the highest employment rates in history, are the majority bread-winners in 53% of American homes and are currently sixty percent of all U.S. college graduates!
The most exciting part is that this provides us with greater strength and determination to make or remake ourselves as we see fit. In this article, we’ll be discussing what it means to be independent successful individuals today. These lessons will come from three of the most powerful self-made women in modern business across the world.
International Chinese Flare – Xiu Li Hawken
If you bumped into Chinese Real Estate magnate Xiu Li Hawken in your local produce aisle in 2011, you probably wouldn’t have noticed anything particularly striking about this self-made billionaire. In fact, one of the things that the media loved to tout back when she first began gaining global notoriety was that her fortune really didn’t alter her down to earth mindset. Back in 2011, she lived in a modest three bedroom and her husband still putted around London in a beat up Nissan. Other than spending a bit more money and living a bit more lavishly these days, this still hasn’t changed.
- Lesson #1: Real success is defined by who you are at the core; money is simply a result of what’s in that core. It does not make you.
Make no mistake; Xui earned her status through discipline, creativity and a keen business sense as a real estate investor. In her twenties, she moved to Britain to study English and finance and later returned to China and carved out a specific niche: converting old air raid shelters into lucrative commercial real estate for underground shopping malls.
- Lesson #2: Whether it is information, specific knowledge or self-development you need, be willing to go out, invest in yourself and get it.
Richest Woman in Africa! – Isabel dos Santos
Some argue that Isabel is less self-made because she was born into power as her father is the President of Angola while husband Sindika Dokolo is a wealthy businessman. Isabel, however, did not rest on her familial relationships. She earned a degree in electrical engineering while working at a recycling center to gain additional business experience. Today, no one disputes that Isabel is a gifted business woman.
- Lesson #3: Maximize any advantages you have and choose the right partners (business and personal) to help build your success. My husband Kevan has been a crucial component of my success from day one.
Back in the late 90’s, Isabel opened up her first business, a night club/restaurant, and things took off from there. Eventually she carved out a name for herself and became known for her shrewd business decisions. Today, Isabel Dos Santos is an independent and powerful business woman who went from working at a recycling center to amassing a fortune of over 2 billion dollars.
- Lesson #4: Being an owner is a critical component of achieving the highest levels of business and financial success.
Young Female Billionaire Extraordinaire – Sara Blakely
In 2012, Sara Blakely became our world’s youngest self-made female billionaire. How exciting! At 41, she had already amassed a fortune by founding Spanx. Today, it is a multi-billion dollar company that sets trends from Boston to Budapest. Would you believe that at one point in her personal business evolution she was selling fax machines door-to-door? Funny, right? Wrong, she excelled and moved up the sales ladder with lightning speed.
- Lesson #5: Be excellent! In your job, as a spouse, as a parent, as a business owner, always strive for excellence. It carries across in every aspect of your life.
At age 27, Sara set out to teach herself what she needed to know to create/design her own products. When she ran up against the complexities of patents, she bought a book from her local Barnes & Noble and taught herself how to write her own patent! With this knowledge and $5,000 of her own money, Spanx was born! Initially her concepts were rejected by the fashion industry; however Sara used their rejections to fuel her billion dollar success.
- Lesson #6: Be willing to take risks. By understanding your niche and being passionate about what you do, you will find practical ways to successfully go against the grain.
The list of self-made female billionaires will certainly continue to grow over the next decade. However, what’s more important is that many more women will build income streams and small businesses to support their lifestyles and to provide for their families. Many of these women will be joining us June 22, 2013 in Plano, TX near Dallas for the ‘2nd Paycheck Without a 2nd Job’ Live Seminar. Come join us and implement these six lessons to build your own powerful life. These three ladies have shown us what’s possible when we invest in ourselves, strive for excellence and surround ourselves with the right people. From these actions, you can reach great heights no matter what.